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Himesh Patel - actor, rising star, Spurs fan

Wed 22 July 2020, 12:57|Tottenham Hotspur

Near or far, Spurs is never far away for actor Himesh Patel.

Best known for his role in the film Yesterday, plus a nine-year stint playing Tamwar Masood in EastEnders, Himesh was most recently seen in The Luminaries on BBC and his star will continue to rise with a role in Christopher Nolan’s latest film, Tenet, out soon.

Director of the Batman Trilogy, Inception, Intersteller and most recently Dunkirk, every Nolan film is an event and Tenet, starring the likes of John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine and Sir Kenneth Branagh - a fellow Spurs fan - is seen as one of this year’s blockbusters.

The flip side of such a blossoming career means less time for Himesh to spend watching his beloved Spurs, and he relished every minute of being part of matchday in the stadium for Sunday’s fine 3-0 win against Leicester City as a special guest of our pre-match show, N17 Live.

“What’s great is a Club like Spurs have fans all over the world, and it means that wherever you are in the world, you can probably find somewhere showing the game,” Himesh told us. “I don’t live far. I see the stadium a lot and I love coming here, and I hope I’m coming for many, many years. The atmosphere is unbeatable, really something else.

“Aside from the fact that it’s such a beautiful place, I think right now it’s really special because the stadium has been opened up for the local community, for the hospital (the stadium was handed over to the NHS in April to accommodate COVID-19 testing and North Middlesex Hospital’s Women’s Outpatient Services). It just goes to show how important a place like this is, it’s beyond the football, and why we love coming here, and in times of need it’s the centre of the community, so that’s what’s really great about it.”

Born in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, Himesh followed a familiar family-led path to Spurs.

He said: “My dad (Jed) is a Spurs fan. I know that’s usually the way, but actually he’s the only one out of all of his brothers. The story is that when he moved to the UK, he started studying in London and his friend used to take him to White Hart Lane, so that’s how I ended up being a Spurs fan.

“Obviously, he passed it on, although not forcefully! I had to kind of do it myself. Eventually I just said, ‘dad, I’ll support the same team as you, okay?’ I didn’t come to White Hart Lane for the first time until six years ago. My dad was always working, and eventually we were thinking ‘how have we not been to White Hart Lane together in all these years?’ and we ended up coming to a game, Sunderland, that we won 2-1.”

I don’t live far. I see the stadium a lot and I love coming here, and I hope I’m coming for many, many years

Himesh Patel

In terms of his acting career, Himesh explained how youth theatre played a huge part in his development before landing an audition and then the part of Tamwar Masood in EastEnders. He first appeared in the soap in 2007 and stayed until 2016.

He made his film breakthrough with the lead role of Jack Malik in Danny Boyle’s Yesterday in 2019, and also appeared in The Aeronauts last year with Tenet scheduled to be out soon, its release having been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I went to youth theatres in Peterborough and Cambridge, so youth theatre was a big thing for me, acting at school as well,” said Himesh. “Eventually, I got an audition for EastEnders and went from there. I had a long stint in EastEnders, and it’s also been a few years since I left now, and I feel really lucky to do this for a living.

“It’s going well. It’s been great, and the last couple of years have been really mad. It’s been another level of work that I’ve got to do and long may it continue. Tenet is coming out soon, a Christopher Nolan film, which means I can say nothing about it!

“It’s been really special and to see it hopefully finally come to cinema and people get to see it in a safe way, that’s where it deserves to be seen, it’s a Christopher Nolan movie, his moves are always massive, but in a really unique way, and this is unique in a whole different way! People will have seen the trailer and will know there is some crazy stuff going on, so I’m looking forward to seeing what people make of it.”